Jan 26, 2012

The Art of Paul Thurlby

Paul Thurlby is a freelance illustrator located in the UK. His work is retro-modern, full of whimsy, humor, playfulness, and tongue-in-cheek. He began as a regular contributor to The Guardian.

Since my 54th Birthday is this coming Sunday, I thought I would showcase 4 pieces from his numeric art collection, as an assemblage of the year I was born. The number 8 has always been my favorite number.

To discover more about Paul Thurlby, as well as his recent book and products, click HERE. His artwork makes me smile!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Jan 25, 2012

Small Space Organizing by Kathryn Bechen

"Small spaces give us the opportunity to live sincerely, forcing us to choose
which of our possessions
make our hearts sing."
-Kathryn Bechen

The rage of virtual pin boards has people enthusiastically organizing photos that reflect their every passion. One hot topic includes fabulous living spaces.

Have you ever considered why we are drawn to beautifully styled homes? Obviously, design elements have the power of attraction; moreover, these components create inviting and stress-free habitats. Yet, picture those same settings cluttered with mail, clothing, toys, school books, accessories... Our sense of being is not so harmonious, is it? 

I believe that our attraction to artfully designed spaces and places lies largely in our response to order. And, Kathryn Bechen is truly an artist when it comes to organization.

As the book's description states, Kathryn has written "a room-by-room guide to maximizing your space" and she makes it very personal. This is not a one-space-fits-all book. It is about you, the reader, and what makes your own space and style tick. 

The reader is encouraged to "perform a room-by-room audit" to determine what is and is not working. Then, unlike other organizational books, she provides a list of options for each situation, not just one solution. Her suggestions are resourceful, creative, and even romantic. She inspires "small space grace" and instructs on how to "dwell well." Any reluctance to opening tight quarters to guests will soon be quelled by stories of hospitality offered to Kathryn by hosts with limited space.

One of her chapters is entitled, Downsizing for Rightsized Living. This is especially apropos for me since my family of four recently downsized from a 3-bedroom, 2-bath home to a small apartment. We lack a carport or garage, so storage is our major challenge. And, as I am embracing the bliss of paring down, I am craving simplicity and order like I never have. Graciously, Kathryn is lending me a helping hand!

I strongly recommend this book to anyone. We can all benefit from more harmonious living.

From the Back Cover 

With a few tricks up your sleeve, small can be the new big!

While we may admire the spacious rooms in large homes we see in magazines or on TV, let's face it: most of us don't live in rambling estates. Instead, we live in homes, apartments, or condos with small rooms and even smaller closets. But you can enjoy an organized, beauty-filled life no matter what the size of your space. In this practical book, you'll learn how to 
  • perform a room-by-room audit of your space to see if it's functioning at its best 
  • make the most of existing storage space and find clever ways to add more 
  • find creative ways to arrange furnishings and accessories that maximize space and bring harmony and style to the home 
  • live graciously in a small space with others (especially those who aren't organized!) 
Whether you're an empty nester who's downsizing, a newlywed setting up your first nest, or someone who just needs some creative new ideas, you'll love these strategies, tips, and solutions to maximize space and enhance your quality of life. 

"Packed with practical and stylish tips, ideas, and resources to help you take your home from drab to dazzling, no matter what size your space or budget." --Laura Leist, author, CPO and founder of Eliminate Chaos; former president of the National Association of Professional Organizers 

"Kathryn provides oodles of useful and affordable home organizing and decorating tips, information, and resources. She also shows that a home doesn't have to be large in size to be graciously grand in spirit." --Kitty Bartholomew, former HGTV host; decorating correspondent for ABC-TV'sThe Home Show 

"This book will inspire you to rethink every inch of your dwelling to create space and live peaceably with your belongings. It's one of my new favorites to recommend." --Marcia Ramsland, author of Simplify Your Life, Simplify Your Time, and Simplify Your Space; 

Kathryn Bechen is an award-winning journalist in the San Diego area. She specializes in lifestyle feature articles and has published several organizing and decorating ebooks. She blogs about timely lifestyle topics at 

About the Author 

Kathryn Bechen is an award-winning journalist in the San Diego area. She specializes in lifestyle feature articles and has published several organizing and decorating e-books. She blogs about timely lifestyle topics at www.